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On the last hearing, the top court had asked for a tentative schedule for affirming the time it will take to conclude the trial against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence accused, without compromising on the schedule to conclude other pending cases.
In the case against Ashish Mishra and 12 others registered over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence of October 3, 2021 in which a vehicle rammed into a farmers’ protest against the three farm laws passed by the Union Government, killing two BJP workers, a driver and a journalist, the Supreme Court was informed today that the trial would likely be completed in five years time.
In December 2022, the Supreme Court had directed the Registrar (Judicial) to enquire the expected time it will take to complete the trial from the first additional sessions judge at Lakhimpur Kheri. The State of Uttar Pradesh had also been directed to file an additional affidavit stipulating the pace of the investigation in the case.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant & Krishna Murari had also contemplated on the need to balance the rights of the accused persons behind the Lakhimpur Kheri incident with those of the victims and witnesses.
While the court was hearing the bail plea of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son, Ashish Mishra, who is the prime accused in the case and who is in jail since October 10, 2021, it had remarked, “The accused also has rights just as the victims, how long can he be kept in jail?"
Today, when the matter was taken up by a bench of Justices Surya Kant and V Ramasubramaniam, it asked UP's Additional Advocate General, Garima Prashad if any accused, in the other case emanating from the other FIR registered in the matter, had been arrested.
Court then posted the matter for January 19 as Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the families of the victims, was unavailable today, on account of being unwell.
Ashish Mishra is one of the 13 accused persons who have been held for murder, criminal conspiracy and certain other offences in the violence case.
The Supreme Court had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government on Ashish’s bail plea on September 6, 2022 and had asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to respond to his petition seeking bail, in which he had challenged the denial of bail to him by Allahabad High Court on July 26.
On April 18, the Supreme Court had cancelled the bail given to Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court. Earlier, the bail pleas of Mishra and two others had been rejected by the Lakhimpur Kheri District and Sessions court on November 15, 2021.
The case is being investigated by a Special Investigation Team which is being monitored by Justice (Retd) Rakesh Kumar Jain of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Case Title: Ashish Mishra @ Monu Vs State of Uttar Pradesh
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